When you’re faced with a divorce, your first thought may be “I guess I’d better lawyer up” (followed by a groan). When you’re facing a legal battle, you may see attorneys as a necessary evil. Fortunately, not every situation requires a costly lawyer.
There are some alternatives to divorce that—if you and your spouse can be disciplined, communicate effectively, and remain respectful to one another—don’t require court at all.
A divorce consultant is one of those options.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at divorce consultants to see how they stack up against divorce attorneys and why you might want to hire one.
What It Isn’t
Before we talk about what divorce consultants are, let’s talk about what they aren’t.
To start, divorce consultants are not the same as the free consultation you get when looking for an attorney. Those types of consultations last for a set amount of time where you speak with a lawyer about your case and decide whether or not you want to work together.
Essentially, free consultations are an interview where you and the lawyer determine whether you’re a good fit or whether you have a case at all.
Divorce consultants are also different from divorce coaches and divorce concierges. Coaches are not attorneys and focus more on the emotional aspects of handling divorce, while concierge services build you a network of assistance through a variety of different professionals: financial planners, therapists, attorneys, and more.
All of these are amazing assets to have in your back pocket, but they are not replacements for a licensed divorce attorney.
What Is a Divorce Consultant?
A divorce consultant, or consulting divorce attorney, is a licensed attorney who can provide legal advice when you’re going through mediation or when you’re choosing to represent yourself.
Like a typical divorce lawyer, a divorce consultant can help you with paperwork, keep your case on schedule, let you know what to expect, and give you advice regarding any legal or financial situations that might pop up.
If you’re trying to avoid litigation (and who can blame you?), a consultant is the best way to have the protection and guidance you’re looking for without the cost of a traditional divorce attorney.
It’s worth noting that there are other frugal ways to divorce that do not involve the courtroom but still give you the added security of a retained lawyer. Namely, collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce allows for couples to amicably make choices regarding their assets and children without the pressure of someone else making those intimate decisions for you. If you are finding that mediation isn’t working or that representing yourself is too overwhelming, a collaborative divorce may be a good option.
Benefits of Divorce Consulting
There are many benefits to hiring a divorce consultant over an attorney, coach, or concierge.
For one, divorce consultants are a cheaper option than retaining a lawyer. Court cases take time and those attorney’s fees can rack up quickly. Because a consultant is not filing paperwork on your behalf (that’s your job!) or representing you in court, you save money while still getting the advice and support you need.
Another benefit is that a divorce consultant is able to give you legal advice. A mediator, coach, or concierge cannot. A consultant can also inform you of what rights you’re entitled to and help you come up with a legal plan that is in your best interests.
A consulting divorce attorney knows all there is to know about the legal aspects of a divorce, something that can only be gained through education and experience. When you have a consultant on your side, you know that you’ll have all of the things you need for a swift resolution. If you don’t have that expertise, you may miss a step, which can elongate or complicate your divorce.
Divorce consultants also allow you to stay in the driver’s seat during your divorce. You have the power to say yes, no, when, and how. The consultant will give their advice, but ultimately, it’s your decision.
If you liken your consultant to an old friend to grab a cup of coffee with, then you’re well on your way to understanding the dynamics of that professional relationship.
And of course, as we mentioned above, if worse comes to worse and you decide you need an attorney, you’ve already got one that is familiar with your case. It’s a seamless transition.
But don’t worry, we can still chat over a cup of coffee.
Fortunately, divorce is not a “one size fits all” situation. Each marriage, divorce, and couple comes with their own unique set of emotions and circumstances.
At Leap Frog Divorce, we strive to make sure that our clients have all of the relevant information available to them. Communication is vital to client/attorney relationships. You’ll never wonder how your case is going because we will have already called you.
Whether you’re representing yourself and need a professional consultant, or you suddenly decide to retain a lawyer, we are here to help. Contact us today so we can help guide you through your case.